Proposed BAC limit concerns local restaurants

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Tuesday night brought another night behind the bar for Lisa Haggerty of Delray Beach.

"It pays my bills," she said.
 
Alcohol sales account for a third of the business that The Office gets.
 
Haggerty's boss worries changes to the legal limits for drunk driving could change that business math.
 
"A lot less money coming into the City of Delray Beach," said Dave Panella, the general manager of The Office. "Fewer bartenders. Fewer jobs."
 
The threat of civil liability could also increase with it, bring even more pressure to monitor how much patrons are drinking.
 
"We could get sued," said Haggerty. "I watch very closely."
 
The NTSB's recommendation cuts the legal limit by almost half.
 
State Sen. Maria Sachs (D) of Delray Beach, agrees with their push.
 
"Nothing could be worse for business than more deaths on the highway," she said.
 
Sachs also wants more DUI education and tougher sentences for repeat offenders.
 
"I'll support whatever we can do to make our roads safer."
 
Restaurant trade groups are already criticizing the proposal.
 
The owner of Union, a sushi restaurant and bar on Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach, says legal drinking limits are secondary.
 
The bigger issue, he says, are drivers using their head when they drink.
 
"It goes back to a personal responsibility of the drinker," said Union Owner Scott Kennedy. "Just because it goes from .08 to .05, does that individual who would drive, do you think he's going to stop driving? Absolutely not."

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